How will the world of place marketing change in 2019?

As the New Year begins and 2019 marketing plans get into full swing, many marketers are looking ahead at key trends set to shape their strategies for the rest of the year.

As place marketing specialists, we take a look at not just the updates happening in the creative industry, but new trends in the property and development world too. So what do we see coming up this year?

Marketing that matters

The public is so used to being marketed to, it almost fades into the background. Unless a marketing campaign offers something of genuine value to its audience, chances are your target will simply walk away.

Marketers must ensure visibility, credibility and interactivity to develop an authentic brand.

  • Visibility – collaborate and connect with key influencers, stakeholders and members of the community to increase awareness of the brand
  • Credibility – always able to prove brand values and follow through on promises to strengthen brand perceptions
  • Interactivity – providing ‘added value’ to an audience and encouraging interaction with potential consumers

According to Stackla Report, 86% of consumers state that authenticity is an important factor when deciding what brands to support. Making the most of UGC and influencer marketing is just one route – though providing valuable content to the right people will also ensure authenticity thanks to targeted, intelligent marketing.

Take time away from technology

We live in a digital age – so it’s natural that the majority of our marketing efforts are happening online. The property industry is unique in this sense – with printed brochures and physical marketing suites still an integral part of the marketing process.

There is always time for that personal touch – individual responses to social media messages, a phone call every now and again or even in-person attendance at a pop-up event to connect with attendees. Treating potential customers like people, rather than statistics, is going to be an even more important trend this year.

According to The Drum, “good brand in-hand experiences lead to an 85% intention to purchase and a 4:1 ROI.” Putting the experience back into a shopping trip, from pop-up shops to live street entertainment, attracts footfall and increases retail spend. There are lots of opportunities to be creative and revitalise the high street.

The rise of ‘Relationship Management’

‘Social media management’ will be a thing of the past. Simply scheduling content (and most of it sales-led updates) won’t be enough to attract and engage an audience.

Instead, marketers will focus on managing relationships with the online community. To establish their authority as experts, they must demonstrate the business or organisation is well researched and well connected. Content must add value to the online community, either by informing the reader or by encouraging an authentic conversation with them. The main rule here is to incentivise – why should someone follow or engage with content? They must receive something in return. This could be entertaining content, exclusive information or opportunities to save some cash. Whatever you offer, marketers must make sure it is relevant to the audience.

The importance of leadership

In 2019 it will be more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. Whatever your niche or USP – find a way to position your place in the market to ensure it stands out from the competition.

The rise of co-working space and rental demand is shifting the focus of the industry. As such, marketers must have an informed strategy to communicate with a new audience. Whether it’s focussing on a property’s superior quality or affordable housing in a desirable area, making space for your place is key. It also makes marketing to key personas much easier, as you have a clearer idea of the people your property or place appeals to.

There are several ways to establish leadership. We recommend setting up Pinterest boards celebrating the best the local community has to offer (whether you’re making a high-end impression or discovering the hidden gems of a city). Running a Facebook group for a particular audience is also a good way to facilitate the development of an online community.

Agencies become experts

Okay, we’ve been experts all along. But the dangerous trend amongst agencies to be a ‘yes man’ to its clients has led to a rise in in-housing. It’s time for agencies to step up and challenge their clients – sparking an imperative debate on what’s really the best route for the business and its brand. Clients appoint agencies to bring valuable expertise, resource and research tools to the table – so both parties need to trust in that expertise.

Digitalisation will (high)rise

The property market is catching up to other industries when it comes to quality digital marketing. From professional photography and videography to the use of apps and digital screens – we expect 2019 will see the industry become even more innovative in the way it approaches all things digital. After all, buyers spend 60% of their time on a property page just looking at the photographs.

With consumers now much more likely to be drawn to visually appealing content, they will appreciate aesthetically pleasing property listings and marketing collateral – particularly if it is presented in a unique and creative way.

The need for faster innovation will apply across all industries. Streamlined solutions are the key to effective and efficient marketing – and finding new ways to make processes run smoothly is top on many agendas. That’s why we’ve appointed our Strategy and Innovation Director, Lawrence, who’ll help both DS.Emotion and our clients improve the way we work.

Keep in touch this year

If you’re looking for a top team of marketing experts to work with in 2019, our door is always open (and the kettle’s always on!) Contact us to discuss your next project with us.